May 20th, 2014 |

PARTY by WH HOSTESS | BABY BOY BAPTISM

DSC_0994My sweet baby boy was baptized in February, and I created a crisp blue, white and chartreuse green dessert table to celebrate the occasion.  I created a new collection of baptism & christening party invitations to be part of our new BABY by WH HOSTESS collection, and invited our guests with a crisp blue & white stripe invitation.  For the party goods, I decided to run with the blue & white theme, but add in a touch of chartreuse green for a pop of Spring.  (with a foot of snow on the ground, it was nice to have something that looked fresh!)  I used the paper goods from our new Baby Safari Baby Shower collection, swapping out the animals for a cross on some items.

cupcakes

cookies petit foursThe celebration was held at my parent’s home, and we set up the dessert table in front of a wall of french glass doors.  I flanked the table with two 36″ blue balloons, tied with green and white striped ribbon.  I covered the table with a floor-length navy tablecloth, and edged the top with a blue & white greek key tape from MJ Trimming.

7I created a large floral arrangement of pale blue flowers and white tulips in a tall, white urn.  It created a nice focal point, and softened up the lines of the greek key trim.  My all-white cake stands and serving platters were topped with coordinating Cake Plate Clings in stripes, polka dots and the new green & blue ikat pattern.

macaronsphoto (44)Desserts included cupcakes, cake pops, lemon bars, macarons, brownies, petite fours, and gorgeous sugar cookies from Firefly Confections.

strawsHere is my sweet boy, looking quite stunned that I was allowing him to wear all white for this special occasion! ;)  I had a hard time picking an outfit for him – I didn’t want him in a traditional gown – so I ended up with this sweet cableknit outfit from Ralph Lauren.  I loved how sweet and cozy he looked on this very snowy, February day.

photo (27)It was a wonderful day full of family and friends – and we feel so blessed to have shared it with everyone!

clings

baptism invitations from wh hostess

March 17th, 2014 |

PINK & GREEN 40th BIRTHDAY

pink and green dinner party tablesettingWe had a fun weekend celebrating one of my best friends’ 40th birthday at a lovely dinner party hosted by her husband.  Knowing that she appreciates the special touches we design for our clients, he asked me to make the table look special with some centerpieces and paper goods.

pink peony centerpieceSince it’s still very much winter here in Chicago, I thought we could all use a touch of Spring (even if just for the evening!).  I opt’d to create full, pink arrangements in mercury glass footed bowls.  I included pink peonies, roses, and a few white tulips and green leaves for contrast.

I placed three of the arrangements in the center of the table, alternating them with modern glass candelabras that held green candles.  Tea lights were scattered about to add variation to the levels of “twinkle lights”.

pink and green placesettingThe placesettings were set with basic white napkins, so I dressed them up with placecard bands and menu cards.  Playing off the preppy pink and green color palette, I used stripes to make it look a bit playful.

pink and green party paper goods by wh hostessThe cake was from our local bakery, Deerfield’s Bakery and was DELICIOUS, as always.  It was covered in flowers to look like a garden, and I had a custom acrylic cake topper made that exclaimed “Sarah is Forty!”

cakeIt was a lovely evening for one special lady.  And so fun to come in and set a pretty table! ;)

January 14th, 2014 |

STYLISH KIDS’ PARTIES | IT’S HERE!

Stylish Kids' Parties party planning book from Kelly LydenIt’s a happy, happy day around here when I can share such good news: My debut book, Stylish Kids’ Parties, is officially on bookshelves and available for purchase!  My goal with this book was to help you plan, design and execute festive kids’ parties that wow adults and thrill little ones! Filled with 12 creative and colorful party ideas, Stylish Kids’ Parties shows you how to confidently tackle party preparation by using color palettes and themes that carry through–from invitations and decorations to party favors and treats. Complete with DIY tips, recipes, projects, themed activities and templates, you’ll love these party ideas for boys and girls, first birthday celebrations, baby showers and holiday gatherings.

Inside you’ll find:

  • Ideas for 12 themed parties that inspire a child’s imagination.
  • Beautiful and cost-effective DIY projects, decorations and recipes.
  • Instructions and ideas for games, activities and memory-making opportunities.
  • Bonus templates for quick invitations, party favors, gift tags and more.
  • Photography and party suggestions to help fuel your creaivity.

Make memories that last a lifetime with the help of Stylish Kids’ Parties!  You can purchase the book in stores around the country, as well as from these online merchants:

purchase stylish kids' parties book on barnesandnoble.com

purchase stylish kids' parties book on amazon.combuy stylish kids parties on whhostess.com

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and support this past year and a half!  I can’t wait to fill you in more on the exciting projects and recipes in the book – stay tuned for some exciting launch “parties” to happen soon!

September 3rd, 2013 |

STYLISH KIDS’ PARTIES | COVER + PRE-ORDER LAUNCH

Stylish Kids Parties a book by Kelly Lyden cover design and pre-order informationHappy September, Friends!  I hope you all had a wonderful summer!  As you could see from how quiet the blog was the last couple months, I took some time to really enjoy this particular moment in time in my life.  Focusing only on WH Hostess orders, finishing up the book, and spending quality time with friends and family.  It was a good summer.  Sure to be followed by a great fall and even more exciting winter.  But more to come on that later!

It’s September and we are BACK.  Get excited for new posts on Fall entertaining, holiday ideas, party ideas and new product launches.  We’re excited to be back in the swing of things and hope you will join us daily for inspiration.

Today’s exciting news….Stylish Kids’ Parties (my very first book) is officially on the printing presses and due to ship from stores November 6th!  This book has been such a labor of love to put together, but also so fun and so rewarding.  Filled with fun, creative and colorful party ideas, Stylish Kids’ Parties shows today’s DIYer how to confidently tackle party preparation by using color palettes and themes that carry through–from invitations and decorations to party favors and treats. Complete with DIY tips, recipes, projects, and themed activities, Stylish Kids’ Parties features party ideas for boys and girls, first birthday celebrations, baby showers and holiday parties. Readers will be able to easily duplicate these great ideas, creating parties that are appealing to children and adults alike!

We’re sharing the cover design with you above…..what do you think?!  It’s just a peek of how colorful and fun this book is!  And I am also here to tell you that the book is now available for pre-order on two sites.  It’s a great resource to have on your bookshelf, and will also make a fabulous holiday gift this year!

Pre-Order Stylish Kids’ Parties

  • whhostess.com – pre-order your autographed copy of Stylish Kids’ Parties from our site.  
  • amazon.com – pre-order your copy of Stylish Kids’ Parties

More shops to come soon.  If you own a store, or know of a local shop that you think would like to sell Stylish Kids’ Parties, please e-mail me at hostess@thepartydress.net.

Thank you for all of your support and enthusiasm during this last year of putting together the book.  Can’t wait for you all to see the final product!

kelly signature

June 7th, 2013 |

INDIGO PARTY with PATRIOTIC FLAIR | MARTHA CELEBRATES

poms introI’m always excited to discover a new line of party goods!  So when the editors at Martha Stewart asked me to style a party around the new Indigo collection of paper goods from the brand new Martha Celebrations collection for JCPenny….I jumped at the opportunity!

You all know my love affair with a crisp blue and white palette.  I loved the combination of the traditional basketweave pattern with the more whimsical floral.  You could really mix this collection with a variety of accent colors: yellow, hot pink, or in my case, red.  I decided to throw my little gathering over Memorial Day weekend, so I threw in a few touches of patriotic red to create this festive look.  And idea you could reinterpret for the upcoming 4th of July celebrations.

tablesetting pomsYou can see that I chose to mix the gorgeous paper goods with a few traditional table elements: an oversized tonal windowpane tablecloth, my everyday flatware, and acrylic water glasses. Let me tell you, mixing paper elements into this tablesetting made clean-up that much easier!

angled plates overheadSquare plates, such as these, offer an opportunity to have some fun with placement.  You can see here that I angled the salad/dessert plate on top of the dinner plate, offering a fun look.

cupcake on plateA tablesetting looks even more festive with a cupcake waiting for each guest at their place!  I dressed up my basic vanilla cupcakes with Martha Celebrate’s coordinating liners and floral picks.

paper cupAs I mentioned above, I decided to mix these darling paper tumblers with my acrylic water glasses.  I added a red and white striped paper straw to it for that pop of red.

sunflowersSunflowers SCREAM summer to me, so a small bunch on the table was the perfect addition.

drink horizontalI served up one of my favorite summer drinks: a sparkling strawberry lemonade.  This drink is SO simple to mix up.  Simply combine 1 part sparkling water with 2 parts lemonade, add in the juice of strained strawberries (how much is up to you), and a few tablespoons of simple syrup.  Sweet, a little bubbly and the very refreshing for a hot day!

drinkI mentioned the darling cupcake liner + floral picks above, but take a peek at the details of the set here….it’s just darling!

cupcake standcupcake liners detailLast but not least, I packaged up some red candy to send home with my guests as a little party favor.  These little slide boxes were the perfect piece to complete the look of my party.

favor boxes angle

All the MarthaCelebrations at JCPenney products featured in this post were provided by
the Editors at Martha Stewart Living, a team that loves a good party and deeply admires
the bloggers who throw them.

June 3rd, 2013 |

RED, WHITE & BLUE | CAKE PLATE CLINGS


red white and blue patriotic cake plate clings for 4th of July and summer partiescake plate clingsSummer brings a whole new collection of red, white and blue Cake Plate Clings to WH Hostess.  Dress up your 4th of July BBQs, summer picnics and clambakes with these festive decorative liners.  Cake Plate Clings {patent-pending} are reusable, non-adhesive, slide-free and printed with environmentally-friendly ink and materials.  They are the perfect accessory to your dessert table or buffet, and also make a fabulous gift!

red white and blue cake plate clingsI love mixing and matching patterns when creating a display of cake stands.  For 4th of July, I suggest mixing our patriotic stars cling with some of the red and navy party basics, such as the diagonal stripe, swiss dot or gingham check.  The navy wave pattern is perfect for a summer pool or beach party, too!

lobster nautical red white and blue cake plate clingsDon’t put away your red, white and blue after the 4th of July….just replace your patriotic stars with our preppy lobster dots pattern (I love it mixed with the navy diamond lattice pattern, too)!  This collection of Cake Plate Clings would be perfect for any summer party!  All clings can be personalized with a name, initial or monogram too…making them THE perfect hostess gift for summer!

lobster and diamond lattice cake plate clingsMake sure to get your orders in soon for delivery for 4th of July parties!

May 22nd, 2013 |

PARTIES by WH HOSTESS | BIRTHDAY PICNIC

girl picnic party collection from wh hostessOne of the best parts of my job is getting to work with clients year after year, creating fun celebrations for their children’s birthdays.  One of my favorite Houston clients asked me to create a girly picnic themed collection for Olivia’s 3rd birthday (remember her darling Barnyard theme party last year?), and we just love how it turned out!  It’s now available in the shop HERE.

family summer picnics set upI used a color palette of pink, yellow, orange and turquoise for the paper goods and combined some festive patterns, including a chevron and bold floral pattern, to make everything look fun and whimsical.  Since the event was a family affair, each child and their family was greeted to their own chevron picnic blanket laid out in the lawn for lunch.  The families’ names were printed on signs identifying their blanket.

menu card tied onto picnic basketsEach family had a picnic basket prepared with lunch.  We printed up a menu card that was tied to the top of each basket, and bamboo cutlery was packaged in mini chevron paper bags tied with twine.

balloon-towers at summer picnicThe bar and snow cone station were surrounded by balloon towers  -  aren’t they fabulous!?  The turquoise accent color was carried thru the event with custom styrofoam cups.

balloon-cups for picnic partyDessert consisted of delicious cupcakes topped with fondant ants.  The perfect addition to the picnic theme!

summer picnic cupcakes with antsants-on-cupcakesBirthday girl, Olivia, looks very excited to blow out her candles!

birthday-cupcake for summer picnicAnd her sister and guest look like they are enjoying the snow cones!

ice-cream 2.29.46 PMhula-hoop contest for picnic partyChevron paper bags were sealed with our bold floral sticker to package party favors.

summer picnic party favor sticker from wh hostessI think this party has so many charming details that you can incorporate into any summer party, whether it’s a birthday party, a family picnic or special playdate!

picnic-on-the-lawn

May 9th, 2013 |

CHAMPAGNE FLOATS

Sorbet and Champagne FloatsOne of my favorite Spring and Summer “dessert” is a gorgeous champagne float.  A delicious, grown-up version of the classic root beer float, you can create these with any flavor sorbet (which is very helpful in color coordinating your dessert to your party theme or color palette!).

I simply place a scoop or two of flavored sorbet (this was raspberry!) in a wine glass and then top with about half a cup of champagne.  Just enough to fizz up the sorbet!  Serve it with a long spoon and a pretty striped straw.  This is a fabulous dessert for Mother’s Day!

Resources: pink tunic (sailtosable.com), lucite tray (whhostess.com), pink striped straws (shopsweetlulu.com)

May 8th, 2013 |

BOXWOOD & ROSE CENTERPIECE

boxwood and rose centerpieceMy pink Mother’s Day tablesetting from the Spring 2103 issue of The Party Dress Magazine included this darling boxwood and rose centerpiece project that was so simple to create, I just had to share it with you.

You can create this using silk or real flowers.  The supplies are simple: a footed vessel, a boxwood ball (sized to fit), roses (real or silk), and long sewing pins.

Once your ball is placed in your footed vessel, prep your flowers.  Trim the stems so there is only about 1/2 inch past the bottom of the bud.  Insert a long pin thru the center of the flower bud and then attach to the boxwood ball.  You can scatter your roses about in either a symmetrical pattern or, in this case, a more abstract design.  Voila!  It’s a simple, DIY project that will have Mom smiling this Mother’s Day!

DIY boxwood and rose centerpiece project for mother's dayResources: footed bowl (juliska.com), pink tunic (sailtosable.com)

May 6th, 2013 |

MOTHER’S DAY PINK TABLESETTING

pink and green tablesetting for mother's dayMother’s Day coming up this weekend. What type of celebration are you planning?  In the Spring issue of The Party Dress Magazine, I gave my simple ideas for hosting a gorgeous pink & green luncheon – complete with ideas for the tablesetting, DIY centerpiece, and even a delicious dessert!  Join me all this week as I share these simple ideas on how to host a lovely Mother’s Day lunch.

centerpiece over tableFirst up, set the table in style!

Sometimes a plain old tablecloth just won’t do. Think outside the box and use a textured piece of fabric as your tablecloth. I used a cut, pink-organza fabric here.

placesetting with cookie placecard

Silk flowers can be attached to ribbon or a ring to be used as a napkin ring. It’s a great way to update a basic white napkin. As you know, paper is my business. So I am always in favor of a classic placecard. But once in a while, it’s fun to switch things up. I had Firefly Confections create these custom cookie placecards (that could also serve as a party favor for guests).

cookie placecardsMy tablesetting featured a gorgeous, and simple DIY centerpiece, too.  But you’ll have to come back tomorrow for those instructions!

strawsorder a copy of the Spring 2013 The Party Dress Magazine

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